October 23, 2007
Good songs, excellent audio fidelity
With his anti-corporate, anti-capitalist, anti-Iraq-war, pro-democracy perspective, singer/songwriter/guitarist David Rovics is like a contemporary combination of George Carlin, Tom Lehrer, Lenny Bruce, and Country Joe and the Fish. His songwriting and guitar-playing skills are first rate, and his singing is decent enough.
Audio quality of this solo concert performance is superb, with a gorgeous sound from Rovics' acoustic guitar, excellent voice reproduction, and good guitar-voice balance. The acoustic ambience is more studio-like than "live," with minimal sounds of the audience. OK, this is an auditorium, not a club, and Connecticut residents are pretty undemonstrative anyway. (Bathroom graffiti should read, "For a good time, try Massachusetts.")
The playlist is a good mix of old ("Operation Iraqi Liberation," "After the Revolution") and new. Surprisingly, songs extensively produced in Rovics' recent albums do very well here with just one voice and guitar--notably "Halliburton Boardroom Massacre"--though I miss the banjo-picking on "Paul Wolfowitz," a comic satire about the mad-bomber-turned-mad-banker. Among the songs new to me, the standouts are the comic diatribe "Hummer" (not his favorite car) and "Burn It Down." The latter is an uptempo, funny, serious defense of the First Amendment and a solution to the replacement of farmland with condos and Wal-Marts. Warning: singing along on the refrain may get you charged with nine felonies and put on the No-Fly List.
If any of your friends are Young Republicans, this recording ought to get rid of them.